Last week we had our “family reunion” at my brother’s Precious Memories cabin just at the end of Wears Valley. I stepped out on to the porch to speak with my sister and from the corner of my eye caught what I thought was a dog on the ground below. Well it wasn’t a dog, it was a bear laying on the grass taking a snooze!!! We quietly stepped back into the cabin and motioned to the rest of our family to step out on to the porch to take a look. I was hopeful that everyone would get a chance to view the bear before he become aware of our presents and bolted.
The bear seemed to not take any notice of us at all and I began to wonder if he was ill. Photos were snapped and everyone viewed the bear for as long as they wanted. He continued to lay there in his slumber. This prompted a nephew from Arizona to venture closer to the bear from a lower deck (see photo above) and take close up pictures of the bear. This was extremely foolish on his behalf and I immediately pleaded for him to move away from the bear.
Just a note here on bears. They can easily outrun a human and are extremely agile. If the bear for some reason decided to attack, my nephew would have had no chance of escape.
It just happened to be lunch time and the meal prepared, so we all stepped back into the cabin to enjoy a great lunch of leftovers! I had never heard of a bear found sleeping next to a cabin and I was anxious to finish eating and step back outside to see if “my bear” (somewhere along the way I felt we had somehow bonded and were now somehow connected to one another) was still there. So I did just that and found him pretty much as he was before, asleep. I say “he”, but I actually think he was a “she”. I was still concerned that the bear was not well and I was pondering how long we might be stuck in the cabin and if it was safe to venture to the car or not…
It wasn’t much longer after that that my nephew signalled me that the bear was moving! I quickly stepped back on to the porch and saw the bear was now in a seated position. First, she scratched one hind paw and then the other. Next she in a very unladylike fashion scratch at her backside. Finally satisfied that she had adequately relieved her itch, she got up and slowly began moving along the side of the cabin.
From deck to deck, from room to room we were able to follow her around the back of the cabin, where with one last glance she disappeared down the side of the mountain. All together I estimate that we viewed the bear for well over 30 minutes.
It was later that day that I learned a bear had destroyed a car parked at the cabin up the mountain when the guests failed to keep the windows on the car rolled up and someone had mistakenly left a half-eaten package of trail mix in the car. A bear in a car is not good for the car…
So we are now issuing this warning to anyone staying in our area of the mountains to be sure not to leave any food in the car, on a deck or outside. Keep your windows on your car rolled up.
If you’d like more information on one of our cabins your welcome to come and visit out website at Smoky Mountain Golden Cabins or just give us a call at 865-202-7657. We’d be happy to hear from you!
ps- we also saw a fox while at the cabin, but somehow a fox just didn’t compare to seeing a bear taking a snooze!